Canada lock Cudmore ruled out of Ireland game
Clermont Auvergne player broke a hand in Top 14 semi-final
New Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt pictured in Toronto. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Jamie Cudmore will not feature against Ireland in Saturday’s final leg of the North American tour. The veteran Canadian lock has not recovered from the broken hand that ruled him out of ASM Clermont Auvergne’s Top 14 semi-final defeat to eventual French champions Castres.
“Jamie doesn’t tend to play too often (for Canada),” said Joe Schmidt yesterday, having coached the renowned enforcer at Clermont from 2007-10. “He plays the World Cup and that’s about it.”
That comment is supported by the 34-year-old amassing just 27 caps since 2002.
There are four Irish injury concerns following Saturday’s narrow 15-12 victory over the USA in Houston. It is hoped that Fergus McFadden (head, neck), captain Peter O’Mahony (elbow), Connacht fullback Robbie Henshaw (shoulder) and Chris Henry (gash above eye) will resume training on Thursday.
“Fergus McFadden had a couple of stitches in a head wound and jarred his neck early in the game,” said Ireland manager Mick Kearney. “He was quite sore and stiff afterwards but we are hopeful he will be okay.
“Peter O’Mahony took a knock to his elbow, there is a bit of bruising there but, again, we think he’ll be fine.”
Henshaw, who turns 20 tomorrow, got a stinger in his left shoulder having come off second best in an aerial collision with American lock Brian Doyle. He will be monitored this week with Felix Jones the only fullback alternative now Simon Zebo has joined the British and Irish Lions in Australia.
No replacement has been called up by Ireland with Andrew Trimble poised to come in for his 50th cap.
Canadian coach Kieran Crowley (All Black No. 848) can call on overseas professionals like former London Irish flanker Jebb Sinclair and Australian born Bedford Blues fullback James Pritchard.
Both featured prominently in Saturday’s cantankerous 36-22 defeat of Tonga in Ottawa but Glasgow winger DTH van der Merwe is unavailable.
A brawl erupted in the 34th minute that resulted in a red card for Tongan prop Eddie Aholelei. Dublin born referee JP Doyle also showed three yellows, one for Canada, which prompted Tongan coach Mana Otai to state “black players” were being punished for tackling harder.
“It’s a perception a lot of times,” Otai was quoted in The Globe and Mail newspaper. “It’s just hard to battle that stereotype.”
All told, the match left Canada bruised and battered.
“I watched the Tongan game and it was bizarre,” Schmidt continued. “They were down to 12 at one stage. I would know a good few of the Tongan lads. I’ve coached (scrumhalf) Taniela Moa, he’s an Auckland kid and they were incredibly physical and combative so I’ve no doubt Canada have had to take it easy the last few days.”
Still, the result means they are seeking a fourth successive win on Saturday at the 22,453 capacity BMO Field.
“I think they’ve got some nice players and some shape about the way they play. I think Kieran Crowley has got them playing expansively but with enough smarts that they don’t over play, that they can put the ball in behind,” added Schmidt.